BrightFarms: Scaling salad, locally

Tomatoes Black magigno hybrid growth by hydrop...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul Lightfoot, the CEO of BrightFarms, pitched his company during an American Idol-like panel called Great Green Ideas at Fortune Brainstorm Green. He didn’t win the audience vote, but I think BrightFarms is a great idea, so I decided to write about the company for Guardian Sustainable Business.

BrightFarms builds hydroponic greenhouses in cities to grow lettuces, tomatoes and herbs for supermarkets. Retail chains are intrigued: They can satisfy their consumer’ appetite for local food, and be assured of a predictable supply of healthy, fresh vegetables. While hydroponic farming isn’t new, BrightFarms has developed an innovative business model that should enable the company to finance its expansion.
The result is that BrightFarms is growing (pun intended) at a nice clip. This month, it announced plans to build a greenhouse in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

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